“But deliver us from evil.” Lord’s Prayer, Seventh Petition
What a four-word summary of what Good Friday is all about! It is from the cross that Jesus delivers us from our evil foes, sin, death, and the devil. But how did this happen?
It happened because Jesus was NOT delivered from evil. In the Garden of Gethsemane He fervently prayed that God would remove the cup of wrath from Him, but He concluded “not My will but yours be done”. And God’s will was that Jesus would face all the evil forces head-on in a cosmic collision.
On Good Friday, some 2000 years ago, Satan and all of his evil forces threw everything they had at Jesus. Our sin was placed upon Him, the Father forsook Him because of my sin (and yours), and Jesus underwent the torment of hell in our place. His abandonment and agony were real, because evil is real and nasty.
But when Jesus cried out “It is finished”, the death knell for evil had been sounded. Sin had been atoned for; death had been swallowed up; and Satan had been crushed.
It is the wonderful truth that evil has been defeated by Jesus Christ that enables us to pray this petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Sin, death, and the devil are no longer our masters: Jesus is, and because He has conquered them, we who are in Him have conquered them too. Evil is still all around us; it is real and painful, but it is defeated by Christ.
O Virgin’s Son,
What Thou hast won
Is far beyond all telling,
How our God, detested, died,
Hell and devil felling.
(LSB 448 v. 6)